Despite heavy repression, the Uprising of the Earth does not stop


A new edition of the Soulèvements de la Terre mobilisations, the Uprising of the Earth, began on 25 March, with the intention of lasting until 31 August. The 5th one in fact (the previous ones were announced here). Branded by the media as «ecologists», although true, they are characterised by a clear aim against the agribusiness. In fact, their slogan for this new course that began on Saturday in Sainte-Soline is «Grabbing, agro-industry, artificialisation… let’s get them out of the way».

And on Saturday it began in a massive way, with a camp that brought together 30,000 people and an action directed at irrigation reservoirs, which like everything else proposed by the agro-industrial model are also enormous. As are their impacts, as they exclude communities and ecosystems from water, especially now, in times of climate emergency and historic droughts. That’s how we can understand the massive response and also the courage showed by activists  when confronting the police.

Undoubtedly, the reason for the success of the call lies in a movement that has achieved great consensus and unity with more than 200 trade union, political, peasant and environmental organisations behind the call. And also because of the anti-democratic authoritarian decisions of the government, by the prefecture of Deux-Sèvres, to ban the demonstrations, as they did in the last 3 calls. In the face of this, the organisers kept up the protests with the known success.

Cops in quads through the fields, shooting at protesters.

Because the police spared no means: their raids on quads  through the monocultures with pairs of robocops, one driving and the other firing GM2L grenades, like scenes out of Mad Max or a dystopian film. They show the rapid adaptation of the repressive apparatus to different forms of protest and to all grounds. It should be borne in mind that the repression took place in the middle of vast monocultures, in open fields, where the activists lacked any protection.

But the demonstrators were not left behind and also responded: the images of the police vans on fire in the middle of the French countryside are eloquent, with the police not knowing where to go. Many of their lethal weapons were also charred. An impoundment pump was also disabled and activists also occupied the LGV (high speed train) lines.

The police bloodbath was dreadful and shows premeditation: they fired 4000 lethal grenades in 2 hours, injuring 200 people with shrapnel. Two of them are still in coma, struggling between life and death (see below the statement of their comrades – from here we also show our indignation and solidarity with them). Of the others, 40 are in serious condition: one has lost an eye, others have had their jaw ripped out, and others are in danger of losing their feet. The organisers also denounced that after the repression, the forces of law and order obstructed access to assistance for the injured.

Other struggles present too – unwanted and useless projects (such as the High Speed Train)

Because the Sainte-Soline mobilisation coincided with the protests against pension reform that have been taking place in the state in recent days, since 16 March, the largest since the Yellow Vests movement in 2018, and which the government is trying to suppress with large doses of repression.

Meanwhile, today, Thursday 30 April, is a day of coincidences. On the one hand, the movement is calling for a rally in front of the gendarmerie prefectures all over the country in support of the 2 protesters in coma and the rest of the injured people (in this call they link this struggle with the pensions struggle, demanding an end to police violence). On the other hand, the French Minister of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin, announced in the National Assembly that he will proceed with the dissolution of the movement Soulèvements de la Terre.

The great response to this first day of the Rise of the Earth in Sainte-Soline (30,000 people) reminded us of the recent ones in Germany of Lützerath and previous ones of Ende Gelände , etc. It reminded us of the very strong movement that existed in the French state and that continues with the ZAD or Zone à Défendre, camps against the construction of large infrastructures, such as those of Sivens in 2014 or Notre-Dame-des-Land (2016)… or even more so with anti-nuclear struggles such as those in Malville in 1977, which suffered great repression: an activist, Vital Michalon, was killed by a grenade shot by the police. And this repression also reminds us of the death by a police grenade of Rémi Fraisse in 2014 protesting against the construction of the Sivens dam.


In fact, these days we were reminded of one of the characters and one of the sequences that went viral in Lützerath, that of the monk, because he had also been seen in Sainte-Soline, which confirms our theory and the presumed link between these struggles (if only because of a common participant). The Monk is said to have reappeared there wearing a Gendarmerie waistcoat to which he had added the comment «A new war trophy». He has also been seen posing in front of burning gendarmerie vans. Both the monk and other German activists present in Deux-Sèvres are now under joint investigation by the French and German police. The German police were reportedly involved in the Sainte-Soline operation.

International activists also participated in the mobilisation. Among them were indigenous activists of the Mohawk nationality. The Water Protectors have been fighting for water for a long time in the USA and in many other places, not only against agribusiness, but also against projects such as fracking and the oil and gas industry, and against mining companies, which are grabbing water and polluting it with chemicals used in their activities, and heavy metals from extraction and spills. This way, struggles from far away were joint in one.

The Earth Uprisings is an environmental protest initiative that started in France in 2021 and has been growing and establishing itself in recent years. Its roots are also to be found in a deeply rooted peasant movement, with movements such as the Confédération Paysanne  (Peasant Confederation) now participating alongside Atelier Paysan (Peasant Workshop) in this movement, which has strong anti-globalisation values and is part of the Via Campesina. A movement that has been radical and in favour of direct action, such as when José Bové dismantled a McDonald’s under construction with his tractor in 1999.

Activists help an injured person to walk.

Today, the struggle of small farmers against the neo-liberal model of industrial agriculture that threatens their production with chemical and phytosanitary products, genetically modified crops and the use of genetically modified species, mechanical production and transnational ownership, and macro-farms, is being joined by irrigation dams, which have become a target of the movement. Last World Water Day (22 March), the Confédération Paysanne took the case of mega-dams to the UN , which they consider to be a violation of human rights, as this «water grabbing» (together with land grabbing) affects «the living and working conditions of family farmers».

These social and labour impacts of agro-industry are linked by activists to other environmental impacts such as the destruction of ecosystems by the same model, or the loss of biodiversity, and for this reason they link this struggle with others against other absurd infrastructures. They cite: «the Rouen bypass, the Castres-Toulouse motorway, the Lyon-Turin high-speed line» and others.

In 2017, President Macron appeared to the world eager to make an impact on overcoming the international climate emergency. That year he invited US climate scientists to come to France and committed to the implementation of the Paris Agreement. He even interceded with Trump, the climate denier, with whom he had a good communication. He also declared himself in favour of a fair, sustainable and ecological «new growth model»… but all that faded away, and what we have is the same support for big polluters and the same destructive model. And the same model that punishes and humiliates those who question and those who propose an alternative.

Communiqué about S., a comrade whose life is at risk following the demonstration in Sainte-Soline.

(from CrimethInc.)

On Saturday, March 26, in Sainte-Soline, our comrade S. was hit in the head by an explosive grenade during the demonstration against the basins [a project of large water reservoirs for industrial farm irrigation]. In spite of his critical condition, the prefecture first intentionally prevented emergency services from intervening, then prevented them from transporting him to an appropriate care unit a second time. He is currently in neurosurgical intensive care. At this time, his life hangs by a thread.

Charred police weapons.

The outburst of violence that the demonstrators suffered inflicted hundreds of injuries, including several serious physical injuries, as announced in the various reports available. The 30,000 demonstrators had come with the objective of blocking the construction of the mega-basins of Sainte-Soline, a project of water monopolization carried out by a small number of people for the benefit of a capitalist model that has nothing left to defend but death. The violence of the armed arm of the democratic state is the most striking expression of this.

In response to the window of possibility that the movement against the pension reform has opened, the police are mutilating people and even trying to assassinate people in order to prevent an uprising, to defend the bourgeoisie and its world. Nothing will weaken our determination to put an end to their reign. On Tuesday, March 28 and the following days, let’s strengthen the strikes and blockades, let’s take the streets, for S. and all those from our movements who have been wounded and locked up.

Long live the revolution.

Comrades of S.

PS: If you have any information about the circumstances of the injuries inflicted on S., please contact us at:

We want this communiqué to be spread as widely as possible.

Grenades thrown by police picked up by activists.


Call for a rally on Thursday 30 March at 7 p.m. in front of the prefectures of the country.

In support of the 2 comatose demonstrators, the wounded of Sainte-Soline and the pension movement, for an end to police violence.

The concomitant brutality of the state’s response to the continuation of the pension movement and the Sainte-Soline mobilisation is leaving its mark on the history of the country. Today it calls for a united front.

In the face of the government’s climate inaction, its intangible support for ecocidal industrial lobbies and the blatant worsening of the ecological crisis, the movement against mega-dams has offered a point of support in recent months. If water activists, more numerous than ever to defy prefectural bans, turned out again at the Sainte-Soline basin site on 25 March, it was not out of a reckless taste for risk. Everything that was said about the supposedly dark motivations of the demonstrators by Darmanin and his colleagues before and after the mobilisation is, in this sense, a profound insult to the commitment of the 30,000 people who gathered on Saturday. If, for the past year and a half, these growing crowds have not been content with marching, but have been seeking ad hoc gestures to stop certain works, to prevent the plundering of water or land, it is because there is a vital urgency to act. And this sense of urgency will only increase as long as we continue to build infrastructures in this country whose consequences are such that they embody an ecological and social violence that is no longer tolerable today.

We’re thousands!

This vital impulse, E. Macron received it on Saturday with a rain of lethal grenades, 4000 in 2 hours. As 30,000 people approached a barred hole that the state had transformed into a symbol of its authority, 200 people were pierced through the flesh by shrapnel, 40 of them badly. One lost an eye, others had their jaw ripped out or were in danger of losing their foot. Two are still in a coma, between life and death. As in Malville in the face of the 1977 anti-nuclear wave or in Sivens in 2014 in the face of the outbreak of ZADs in various parts of the country, the French state deliberately chose on 25 March to knowingly give itself the opportunity to kill.

On 25 March, the Macron government attempted to quell a political hope through mass mutilation. In doing so, it brutally asserted that the rise of the water movement could only be seen as an intolerable affront to it. This movement has been repeating for years its demands for a real dialogue with local people, farmers and environmental associations. The only government response to these issues has been terror. This deafening violence against the environmental movement is the only way the government has been able to deal with it.The only government response to these conflict outcomes will have been terror.

This deafening violence against the environmental movement is the only way for the government to confront it, and the only government response to these conflict outcomes will have been terror. This silenced violence against the environmental movement is the same violence that the Macron government deployed to subdue the yellow waistcoats in 2019 and today against people who persist in rejecting its unjust pension reform. It is today this reduction of the political field to grenades, these free cowboys on quad bikes or motorbikes that are worrying international institutions. To this street violence, Darmanin now adds the judicial persecution of organisational movements with the opening of dissolution proceedings against the Land Uprisings.

From Sainte-Soline, this weekend, we also remember the peasant tractors that thwarted the police escorts, the camp that emerged from the fields in full assembly, the comrades from the 4 continents, the giant animals and the dances, the crowd of all ages that meandered endlessly through the fields, their courage, their unprecedented solidarity in the face of adversity. All this strength is still in us and we will find it again. But today it is deeply marked by mutilated flesh, by these lives still in suspense. It is for our wounded, to pay homage to them, to support them, to make it stop, that it is imperative that we meet again in the streets. This time not concentrated in the same meadow. But all over the country, in front of the prefectures. Much more numerous.

While we continue to demonstrate against the pension reform, while we continue to converge to stop the mega-dams, we call for a rally: Thursday at 7 pm in front of all (sub)prefectures. In support of the 2 demonstrators in coma, the wounded of Sainte-Soline and the pension movement, for the end of police violence, for the disbanding of the BRAV-M and the banning of GM2L grenades.

So that the people who were there from all over France can say and testify. Because the government is three times guilty: of having thrown lethal grenades, of having premeditated it and of having hindered the arrival of help afterwards. Let us show them en masse on Thursday that we will not let them suffocate hope with grenades. That we are there. That we are still here.

Confédération Paysanne – Bassines Non Merci – Les Soulèvements de la terre, the organisers of the mobilisation of 25 March in Sainte-Soline and all the social and trade union organisations and associations that wish to join us.

Communiqué of the Earth Uprisings 2023:

Let a thousand Sainte-Soline bloom!

In these times of historic drought and public calamity, we invoke Saint Soline. Let us not shut ourselves up in fear and stupor. Gather by the thousands to storm an infrastructure emblematic of the privatisation of our most precious common good. We must not be content with platforms, petitions and marches, but together we must make a dent and show our determination not to let them ravage the world.

In this small village in the Mellois, residents and farmers, elected officials and activists, people of all ages and backgrounds, in a dynamic of mass disobedience, defied prefectural bans, thwarted a bewildering police presence, tore down gates and entered building sites. They showed that we are capable of undoing what is destroying us, that we can take back control of the catastrophe, that we will not let them do it again. Today, the mega-irrigation dam project is faltering in the face of exploding safety costs and growing public hostility towards it. Victory is within reach. March 25 will be decisive.

Thus, a «local» struggle against a specific project in Deux-Sèvres can carry a lot of weight in the global correlation of forces. The days in Sainte-Soline are an affirmation: it is not a question of submitting to governmental decisions in the face of drought! It is up to us to make unavoidable decisions on the priority uses of increasingly scarce water, to limit the industrial greed that is drying up the land and to oppose with all our might the defence of the commons, of our needs and those of peasant agriculture.


We need to make changes like that of Sainte-Soline on many other fronts in defence of the land: widespread pesticide poisoning, factory farms and digital agriculture, the burying of forests, wetlands and agricultural plots under concrete, the devastation of biodiversity…. These actions are within our reach everywhere, as long as we manage to move away from powerlessness and eco-anxiety, build broad alliances and establish effective strategies of resistance. This is the challenge of the Earth Uprisings. And it is precisely the fear of those who plan and profit from disaster.

So, as always when they are afraid, the whole repressive apparatus is set in motion. There are trials, technological bugging and intimate spying, DGSI reports, vociferous accusations of eco-terrorism and threats of dissolution. But we are not a «terrorist organisation». Nor are we an «ultra-left group». Rather, we are a composite and now widely supported resistance movement.

Proof of this are the broad coalitions that organise each of the actions at the local level, but also the statement of support last January signed in 48 hours by more than 3000 personalities, including a myriad of trade unionists, elected officials, scientists and academics[1]. Even the recent DGSI note acknowledges this, describing us as a movement «transcending original affiliations and divergent strategies», capable of «federating as many activists and groups as possible from different ideological backgrounds».

In the Earth Leavings, bonds are forged through struggles, encounters, journeys and adventures. Throughout the seasons of action, strong alliances are forged between territories and collectives. And nothing and no one can dissolve them. Our political identity is constantly renewed by interweaving our sensibilities and our concrete practices. It escapes all labels. Armed with these anchors, we will not be impressed by invectives and threats, wherever they come from, and we launch the fifth season of action!

[1], «Tribune – «Ecoterrorism»: environmental struggles in the crosshairs of the Ministry of the Interior».



Towards the 5th season

After two years of existence, this is only the beginning of the Earthquakes. We are just beginning to establish the first international contacts; to think about the creation of local committees all over France; to test fruitful articulations with accomplice dynamics such as the «Intercantine» or the «Naturalistes de la Terre»; to solidify synergies with the Confédération Paysanne and the Atelier Paysan, to question the ways of relating to social movements such as the one that is shaking little by little this month of March. In the face of trials and repression, spaces are being strengthened to develop legal support, but also physical or psychological care. At the same time, «Fight against sexism» dynamics are being developed to address the question of possible sexist aggressions during mobilisations and the parties that accompany them. When we meet every six months to structure the calendar for the following season, we are always more numerous and we are constantly being joined by new collectives.

The 5th season of the Earth’s Upraising continues this dynamic. It will be marked by one mobilisation per month, in the four corners of France! It will be marked by mass public actions, unexpected events, strategic reflection and training. Our thematic angle of attack remains the same: the defence of Land and Water as a common good against the grabbing of the agro-industrial complex and the concreting of the metropolitan mega-machine. Our strategic direction is also the same: on the one hand, to target and dismantle emblematic infrastructures, structuring development projects and destructive multinationals; on the other hand, to fight for the protection of the environment.

Find levers against land grabbing by the agro-industrial complex:

Reports are building up which point to the disappearance of the peasantry, the concentration of land and the crisis of agricultural vocations. The technological development of the agro-industrial complex (pesticides and fungicides, robotisation, digital technology and genetic modification) is making it possible to expand farms without limit and to concentrate agricultural land in an unprecedented way. As the latest report – published by Terre de Liens and Friends of the Earth – points out, 100,000 farms have disappeared in France in ten years! With mass retirements looming, 5 million hectares of agricultural land are at risk of being taken over by agribusiness. This is a well-documented fact, but it requires the definition and reinforcement of collective action levers to halt the process and encourage the installation of a new generation of farmers. This is the objective of the long-term strategic reflections that will continue this season with various farmers’ organisations. They will be accompanied by actions against the new forms of substitution of farmers by digital agriculture and its chimeras.

Stop megaprojects

As we go through an unprecedented winter drought, we will continue this season to vigorously oppose the false solutions of the FNSEA and the government by mobilising against the mega irrigation dams in Deux-Sèvres and throughout France, with the aim of obtaining a moratorium on all existing projects!

Blocking their way

The unbridled development of transport infrastructures is one of the main causes of devastation: global warming, destruction of life, massive artificialisation of agricultural land, wetlands and forests. Go faster, always faster. Densify the flows that make the mega-machine work. Extend the tentacles of the metropolis everywhere. There are already enough motorways, airports and high-speed lines.

Across the Channel, the 1990s were marked by the anti-road protest, a bold and creative environmental movement, combining occupations, blockades and sabotage, tree houses and motorway parties. It succeeded in getting 80% of the British road programme of the time abandoned. It serves as an inspiration to link today the many local struggles against various absurd projects: the Rouen bypass, the Castres-Toulouse motorway, the Lyon-Turin high-speed line. By focusing this season on transport infrastructures, we want to strengthen the dynamics of the struggle around this crucial issue, and to forge new alliances with the coalition La Déroute des Routes in France, as well as with the NoTAV movement in the Val de Susa in Italy.

Earth Lifts summer meetings

In mid-summer, we will organise public meetings at a place and date to be announced. To get to know each other. To get to know each other outside the moments of action. To be trained in surveys, communication and organisation of actions. To share reflections and analysis. To refine our political statements and take the time to deploy them in a public space. Broaden our movement.

Local committees of the Earth Uprisings:

Local organising groups have been formed this year to collectively reclaim the dynamics of Earth Uprisings. These local groups have a dual purpose.

On the one hand, they participate in the upsurge of the movement by mobilising locally for events on the national calendar. They organise public meetings, put up posters, hire buses, attend many events or help in the various committees that make the events possible (canteens, logistics, communication, etc.).

On the other hand, they help to anchor the Earth Uprisings. They are in contact with the local struggles around them, they keep the composition of the Uprisings alive or organise ecological vigils.

This dynamic is very young, but there are already a dozen local committees, explicit or not, spread throughout France (Cévènnes, Brittany, Pyrénées Orientales, Manche…). In this way, it is possible to weave a whole territorial network of proximity, which allows at the same time to build alliances, to support the struggles and to give itself organisational strength for the events of the national calendar [1].

[1] If you are also involved in such a dynamic, whatever name it takes, don’t hesitate to let us know so that we can put you in touch with the committee movement.

New dynamics of complicity

  • Naturalistes de la Terre: naturalists – scientists, lawyers, beginners or experienced – have decided to relaunch a network of naturalists in struggle throughout the territory: Les Naturalistes des Terres (Naturalists of the Earth)! Every year we witness the decline of species that were once commonplace. We can’t stand it any longer. In two months, we are already more than 400 registered in our cartographic directory and ready to make ourselves available to come and support the local struggles that need these forms of knowledge, and happy to be enriched by the culture of struggles [1]. Earth Naturalists will be at the side of the Earth Uprisings next spring 2023: actions, occupations, talks, press tables…. Count on us for the next mobilisations for the living! «The call of the Earth Naturalists» is online at magazine. To contact us: Map and yearbook available at
  • A coalition of land-based canteens: September 2021 marks not only a high point in the fight against the mega-irrigation dams in the Deux-Sèvres, but also the first meeting of several canteens in the Grand Ouest. By joining our forces and our teams, we have ensured a great peasant banquet. The success of this first inter-cantonal cooperation has led us to meet again at every peak of the fight against the megacantons. In March 2022, we fed a camp of 5,000 opponents during the vegetable spring. This inter-cantina cooperation is now a long-term process and will probably go beyond the resevoirs mobilisations. Our food supply comes from unsold food from supermarkets, from our own garden crops and from purchases or donations from fellow farmers. By sharing them, we organise the supply of the mobilisations. But we do not want to be mere service providers or canteen workers during actions. We participate in the ongoing struggles from this collective identity of canteens and supply networks, but also from our own sensibility and political positioning. We are not canteens of struggles, but canteens IN struggles!

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